A friend at trivia referred to someone as being handicapped the other day, and I winced. I asked him to say “disabled” while explaining that it was, admittedly, just a pet peeve of mine.
Someone else at the table chimed in and said, “Or differently abled!” Which made me wince further, and I said that, no, “differently abled” was almost worse. I’ve always felt the phrase was just trying too hard to be chipper and P.C. (Which is saying something because I have no problem with political correctness.)
She asked why I got to set the rules. I pointed out that I do have a disability. She then reminded me that she has a disability* and that she considers herself differently abled.
Of course, if that’s her preference, that’s her preference. But that term has just always set my teeth on edge.
I consider myself disabled. I’m not differently abled. I have a disabling condition that, without medication, keeps me from all but the most basic levels of activity (and some days not even that). Tim also considers himself disabled.
But it got me thinking/wondering: What do you guys (the ones who are sick) prefer? Disabled? Differently abled? Something else? (Also, am I right to wince at handicap, or is that pretty neutral these days?)
If you’re healthy, which phrase do you prefer to use — or which one have you been instructed to use by people in the disability community?
*Unspecified, and it’s not my place to ask.